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Govt to hike petrol taxes and road user charges 9 cents over three years to pay for 'roads of national significance'

Posted in News Updated

By Alex Tarrant

The government will hike petrol tax by three cents a litre every year over the next three years to fund its Roads of National Significance programme and other roading projects, while road user charges will also rise, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

The current rate of petrol excise for the National Land Transport Management Fund is 50.5 cents a litre, following a 2 cent/litre rise on August 1 this year. The latest announcement would take that to 59.5 cents/litre by July 2015, a rise over the three year period of nearly 18%.

On top of that, there is a 9.90 cents/litre ACC levy charged, a 0.045 cent/litre petroleum or engine fuel monitoring levy, and local authority fuel taxes of 0.66 cents/litre, giving current total fuel taxes before GST of 61.105 cents per litre.

Ahead of the 2011 election, the government deferred a petrol excise tax hike, citing tight economic conditions as the reason for doing so.

"Given the ongoing economic impact of the global recession and the Christchurch earthquakes, it makes sense to hold off on the increase for another year so as not to add further costs to the economy," then-Transport Minister Steven Joyce said in April last year.

Joyce tipped greater increases in coming years to pay for the 2011 deferral.

Today, Brownlee said the Government was "keen to keep overall costs down for households and business."

"The cost of living, as measured by consumer inflation, is at a 13-year low and interest rates are at 50-year lows. This announcement allows businesses and motorists to plan for the increases,” he said.

“Any further proposed increases in petrol excise duty and road user charges from 2016 onwards will be considered by Cabinet on a case-by-case basis.”

See the release from Brownlee below:

The Government will increase petrol excise duty by three cents a litre on 1 July 2013, 1 July 2014 and 1 July 2015, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

Road user charges will also be increased by an equivalent amount.

Mr Brownlee says the increases are required to deliver the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme and other roading projects to the timeline set out in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding 2012.

“Excise increases in recent years have helped maintain the real value of the Land Transport Fund.

“These latest increases will also achieve that, and allow for continuing investment in the Government’s state highway building programme and other transport projects.

“In particular the guaranteed funding stream delivered by the increases has allowed the NZ Transport Agency to confirm it will begin work on four projects in the 2013/14 financial year: the Rangiriri and Tamahere-Cambridge sections of the Waikato Expressway, the Mackays to Peka Peka section of the Wellington Northern Corridor (subject to the granting of regulatory consents) and the four-laning of the Groynes to Sawyers Arms (Johns Road) section of the Western Corridor in Christchurch (subject to the granting of regulatory consents).

“We have considered innovative ways to deliver the RoNS programme, agreeing to the procurement of Wellington’s Transmission Gully project through a public-private partnership and asking the NZ Transport Agency to investigate tolling the route,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The series of July increases will also ready the Fund for investment in upper North Island transport projects beyond the RoNS programme.”

Amendments to the Customs and Excise Act 1996 and the Road User Charges (Rates) Regulations 2012 will be required to enable the series of increases.  New road user charges rates will be published at least six weeks prior to the increase.

“The Government is keen to keep overall costs down for households and business.  The cost of living, as measured by consumer inflation, is at a 13-year low and interest rates are at 50-year lows.

“This announcement allows businesses and motorists to plan for the increases,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Any further proposed increases in petrol excise duty and road user charges from 2016 onwards will be considered by Cabinet on a case-by-case basis.”

For more information on the above projects visit www.nzta.govt.nz

Read the reaction from the Green Party below:

National’s plan to increase the petrol excise duty by 18% to pay for its so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’ is a waste of taxpayer money that will unfairly make working families pay for motorways that few will use, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

In November, the Greens first revealed a leaked New Transport Agency document outlining National’s plans to fill the billion dollar hole in the transport budget created by its motorway projects by borrowing in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and increasing petrol tax by 9 cents a litre, or 18%. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee today confirmed the increase in petrol tax, having recently confirmed plans for a Transmission Gully PPP.

Analysis of National’s motorway projects shows just 4% of road journeys will use these routes.

“All Kiwis who drive will soon be paying for National’s white elephant motorways that few people will use,” said Ms Genter.

“Transmission Gully, the Kapiti Expressway, and the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway will cost billions of dollars for little benefit and will be used by only a few percent of drivers.

“The Government shouldn’t increase tax on all New Zealand families just so that it can pour billions into boondoggles that aren’t worth building.

“National is taxing us more on petrol to lock us into a petrol-dependent lifestyle. Instead, we should be investing the transport budget into projects that will allow Kiwis to avoid rising petrol prices by taking public transport, cycling, or walking.

“Projects like the Auckland’s City Rail Link are sustainable, cost-effective, and reduce congestion. That’s a smart, green use of taxpayer money; that’s where the Greens would invest,” said Ms Genter.

Additional information:

NZTA briefing paper

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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71 Comments

Highly inconsistent with doom

Highly inconsistent with doom and gloom predictions... It's good to be The Boss!
HGW

arrgghh now i know why they

arrgghh now i know why they are called  Roads of National Significance -  its being funded by very significant tax increases,nationally ...  very clever Mr Joyce !

Now, how can we think of a

Now, how can we think of a tax that will fall disproportionately on mid-lower income NZers, but package it as something else?
I know, let's have an increase in petrol tax with no offsetting income tax cuts for low income people.
At least the Nats are consistent.
 

The last thing that

The last thing that "mid-lower income NZers" need is tax relief. They don't even pay any net income tax after working for families!

Quite agree Zoltuger, the

Quite agree Zoltuger, the median Kiwi income is $560/week pre tax. That's huge money and heaps of spare dosh left over at the end of the week, the income tax and GST take on that is less than $200, no reason they couldn't pay more - lot's more.
Get real!

hehe, Bigdaddy thinks his

hehe, Bigdaddy thinks his rental income will go from $500 a week to $800....
get real....
regards
 

Talk about a stab in the

Talk about a stab in the dark. If you earned $560pw and spent all your after wage on GST items (i.e. no rent), the total income tax and GST paid would be $142.
 
Nobody's suggesting that the poor should pay for roads. But we can't immediately shout TAX RELIEF!!! everytime costs go up - whether it's petrol or groceries or houses.

Thanks for working that out,

Thanks for working that out, Z and no, I'm not in favour of huge wealth re-distribution via taxes and benefits either - usually causes more probems than it solves. The problem we have is half the people don't earn enough. Forget about things like basic dental care or saving for retirement, we're talking a very basic, pay packet to pay packet existance. Try doing a realistic budget for someone on the median income.
Meanwhile twenty percent are doing very nicely, thank you, a lot of it on the backs of the $14/hour dogs bodies. If those imbalances continue we will have, via the ballot box, a hard swing to the left. I'd like to see the adult minimum wage increased and the top twenty to get a grip on their greed. Not likely but probably better than the alternative. 
 

Zoltuger, Apart from the

Zoltuger,
Apart from the ethical reasons for not keeping lower income working households as close to the poverty line as possible, there are practical economic reasons.
I was pleasantly surprised by a recent Matt Nolan research piece, showing median disposable income in NZ has not reduced relative to higher income households over the last 10-15 years, as they have in the US and other western economies. Nor have they gone up though. I assume WFF has played a significant role in that outcome.
Kiwidave ( I think sarcastically) points out median (not even low) incomes are not all that high.
Economic reasons for not hitting low income working people:
They perform essential services, and extra nails in the coffin of that return, will mean the dole is a more attractive alternative for some.
Someone else pointed out that WFF is mostly a subsidy for employers in marginal businesses- think manufacturing and service industries- to keep employing people at $13.50 an hour. Drip drip away at that equation, and more such jobs/ businesses will fall over.
They spend their money on NZ based goods and services; or on heavily depreciated assets like old cars (which sadly are not fuel efficient). Taxes hitting them in favour of the wealthy, hit the current account further.
More unemployment, more people on the dole, with in some cases benefits increasing as an offset.
Stephen Hulme rightly points out therefore its poor economics, and spitefully so, hitting the low paid hardest.
 

Haven't you just made a

Haven't you just made a comment on how rubbish our economy is. If you apply the same theory as you do with GST "if you're not paying it, then you're not making any money" then you soon see that all these people who are essentially getting "GST refunds" are simply not making enough money.
And if you want to seek out a reason for that, take a look at how wages have been eroded over the years, courtesy of the free market and pretty much unfettered capitalism!

Weren't roads of significance

Weren't roads of significance supposed to be in he budget already? Why raise more money for them

Possibly, but why miss a

Possibly, but why miss a spiteful chance to impose regressive taxes upon those already receiving benefits and drive those just above into that negative state of affairs. 
 
Vicious circle economics as practised by this National Goverrnment spiral out of control - as evidenced by the continuously reported month on month falling tax take.

The problem is traffic

The problem is traffic volumes are falling as people aren't driving as much. That means less income from roading taxes hence the shortfall that these increases are there to address.

As much as I hate any tax

As much as I hate any tax increases, at least it is user pays.
Why should we offset low income users? They drive the same roads as anyone else.
Part of the reason so many "low income NZers" stay there is we incentivize them to do so.
I'm all for a welfare society, but I do have issues with the level and delivery mechanisms we use to achieve it, so no, I don't see why my benefit collecting neighbor should pay less to travel to his pokie machines than I do to travel to my job.

Its not user pays

Its not user pays though....its everyone pays for some users.  If you look at the petrol use in the USA its dropping as it prices ppl out....same will happen here....so these roads will never really be utilised justifing the cost.
The only good thing is it puts a price pressure on bigger engined and older cars to be swapped out.......my concern/discust is how its then spent.
regards

i know lets ban pookies, we

i know lets ban pookies, we did Ok without them, do we need them- no. They are not very good for us, they are designed to make us feel bad in the long run . Lets get rid of them we don't need them.

If it is user pays, one has

If it is user pays, one has to ask user pays for what?  The so-called Roads of National Significance are a collosal waste of money (costs greater than benefits).  All of our transport network would be safer and more efficient and lower carbon if the roads of national signficiance were all cancelled and the money spent on improving real roads, not getting Ke and Joyce to their holiday homes faster.
Surely all this is is another confirmation that the Key tax cuts for the wealthy were unaffordable.

Updated with more info on the

Updated with more info on the taxes, past deferral

Green Party reaction in there

Green Party reaction in there now

Gotta admire the Greens for

Gotta admire the Greens for their abilitiy to surprise .... I was assuming they'd say the excise wasn't enough , to save the planet , we need excise to increase by $ 5 per litre , or summit similar .....
 
.... but no , they're unhappy for the poor folks of NZ , struggling to get by .... only half filling their SUV's tanks , on the way to the pub .....

no no John Key is right and

no no John Key is right and everyone else is wrong, 9 cents is exactly the correct amount it should go up by and anyone who says anything else is a communist or worse

" is a communist or worse " ,

" is a communist or worse " , you say .....
 
...... ummm , what on God's green earth could possibly be worse than being a communist ? ......
 
Well , being a Catholic priest , perhaps ..... or an employee at KFC .... or being a financial journalist .....

Isn't it the case that

Isn't it the case that currently the Gov't collects significantly more in fuel excises etc than it spends on transport infrastrucure.  So why is there any need to increase fuel taxes?

so tjhat Bill can make the

so tjhat Bill can make the books look good because as they reduce economic activity more and more in NZ through rent seeking activities of monopolist providers of essential services Nzdrs have less and less disposible income to actually trade with each other.

Interesting, innit, that the

Interesting, innit, that the Greens'; reaction is so....Consumerist!
 
"National is taxing us more on petrol to lock us into a petrol-dependent lifestyle. Instead, we should be investing the transport budget into projects that will allow Kiwis to avoid rising petrol prices by taking public transport, cycling, or walking"
 
B-but, shurely, increasing the Price of something, Lowers Demand?
 
And, aren't Petrol and Diesel  the Twin Scourges of Gaia?
 
So shouldn't we be dis-incentivising their use?
 
And the Consumerist jab is this:  the dear naifs seem to think that PT, cycles and walking - majority consumer activities all  - are true alternatives.  Yet the main point of RONS is shurely that they support essential exports and the supply chains behind consumerism. 
 
After all, damn-all Exports get transported by pedalling.  And when was the last time you saw a LinFox sticker on a bus?
 
Sigh.   This is what passes for Debate in Godzone, it seems.

The RoNS all duplicate roads

The RoNS all duplicate roads that already exist, saving 5 minutes isn't going to magically mean we can export more product, especially when it is still at the mercy of shipping timetables anyway. Further most of the claimed time savings for these projects are unrealistic e.g. based on answers to parlimentarty questions, you would have to travel in some cases at 250kph to get the savings claimed for Puhoi to Wellsford.
The thing about investment in PT is it allows a lot more people to get into an area like the Auckland CBD and that creates significant agglomeration benefits that would be far greater than saving 5-10 minutes on a road.
Have a watch of this video
http://youtu.be/7I1oHK3udtE
And this one with some specific data related to Auckland and NZ
http://youtu.be/npQCwQMPmgk

The only reason public

The only reason public transport is sustainable and cost-effective as the Green Party maintains is because it is being subsidized by the Road Transport Tax.
How about we charge each to their own use, Road Transport Tax is only spent on roads and the public transport gets their funds from their users.
Public transport will never reduce road congestion (may reduce kilometres travelled per vehicle) but with the increasing urban density you will have more cars in the central city(a 100% increase in density of population gets you an 80% increase in number of vehicles), so congestion overall goes up.
And Waymad you are right about no Linfox stickers on buses, but have you seen the amount of goods they get on push bikes in Asia. Now that’s sustainability, cost-effectiveness and less congestion (of cars at least) all rolled into one. Can hardly wait for rickshaws to replace the taxis.

You would be looking at some

You would be looking at some hefty roading cost increases then as at least 50%, normally more, of all local roads costs come out of local rates, not road taxes. Local roads mack up the vast bulk of our roading network.
You say PT won't reduce congestion but have you seen the impact it has had on things like the Harbour Bridge, in just a few years the number of people crossing the bridge in peak time has increased while the number of those that are doing it in a car has decreased. This is purely due to the investment in the Northern Busway and now 30-40% of all people crossing in peak times are on a bus.

Hi Mat L – Northern Bus Way

Hi Mat L – Northern Bus Way is a great example of an efficient public transport system, but is not entirely responsible for the decrease. Albany used to promote itself ‘As only 15 minutes north of the Bridge’.
Now it is the centre of the North Shore (having taken over from Takapuna) ie with a huge employment base in the Albany basin, just as many people want to drive north as south in the morning, or can walk, cycle, short drive to work from the surrounding suburbs, which include free standing houses, townhouses, apartments. Properties that are on the fringe of Albany now promote themselves as x minutes to Albany (not Auckland anymore).
Irony is that the busway has encouraged Sprawl. People can now live in Orewa, drive to the Albany interchange and within a total trip time of 30 minutes be in the city. The bus way would not be the success it is today without the feeder network of cars to the interchanges.
However, my main point is the silly justification for public transport ie it is cost effective in that it will make money (it will need to be subsidized) , reduce congestion etc.. If we need it for another good, like the Police, that is fine, just tax us, but they don’t need to invent a little white lie, which they now believe. It’s the same reasoning that justifies the white elephant stadiums, casinos, conference centres etc.
 

Its not due to Albany as more

Its not due to Albany as more people are crossing the harbour towards the city at peak times than ever before. Its just that the number that do it by car are dropping both in terms of percentage and in raw numbers. Have a look at this graph, its a couple of years old now but the trend has continues.
http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Private-vs-Public-...
I would agree with your comment about making it much more possible to live in Orewa however not about the car parks. 5.9m people use services on the busway of which about 2.2 are the busway only NEX services. The number of people catching buses from the busway stations is somewhere in between those figures but would easily work out at more than 10k per weekday. Yet the number of car parks at busway stations is probably 1500 at most. The rest of the people get there by other methods (walk, get dropped off, catch a feeder bus etc.). Also my understanding is that services on the busway are now largely cost netural so aren't requiring subsidy.

Density increases congestion.

Density increases congestion. Congestion of cars, buses, trains, people.  Work commute times in the suburbs are shorter than commute times in the central city, fact.
Of course growth of Albany has contributed to increase number of commuters into CBD, but it is also a destination in its own right for employment, which it never much was. It can also be argued that the bus way has helped the growth of Albany more than it has done to help transport people into the CBD.
Being dropped off by car is still support of bus way by car. Again, the support of public transport especially rail, needs the feeder network of other vehicles, like buses and cars. And I am agreeing that increase density helps public transport, but it does not reduce congestion.   
 

"Can hardly wait for

"Can hardly wait for rickshaws to replace the taxis."  and yes what shows through as a mind set what yours is "better dead than red" or better to carry on ignore the changes that have to happen until forced upon us, this maximising the damage and cost.
Like I have said a lot in here and most ignore or deny.  The era of cheap and plentiful petrol and energy has passed. That signals huge shift in economics, finance and business that no one seems to want to address. So the next phase is transitioning to a "lifestyle" that needs or uses far less energy.  Cars have probably at most 10 years left as a mass transit medium, but you dont want to see it, too busy pushing urban sprawl mantra and debt to saddle ppl for decades.
Hence why you, Philbest and HughP are yesterday's men pushing yesterdays ideas for a tomorrow they wont work in....
regards
 
 
 

What is wrong with rickshaws?

What is wrong with rickshaws? Are they not sustainable, cost effective and reduce vehicle use, just what the Greens are wanting?
And good point in comparing the Greens to ‘better dead than red.’ 
If, as you say we have only 10 years left of cars as mass-transit, what is your solution and your plan to make it happen? It surely can’t be to make housing more unaffordable! No wait, by making housing more unaffordable, can’t afford car, or petrol, therefore must walk, use rickshaw, or heavily subsidized public transport. Very smart, now I know why they call it Smart Growth.  

If the main point of RONS was

If the main point of RONS was supporting the transport of export goods then the acronym should be Railways of national significance. Sadly its not. Instead we get larger trucks on local roads and the accompanying congestion and road damage. 

Yes, petrol, diesel, and

Yes, petrol, diesel, and kerosene (JP1-JP5) are the worst offenders.
Especially jet fuel which is emmited at altitudes very near the ozone layer.
But hey, they're not going to give up the revenue stream fuel tax provides. This has more to do with finances than enviromental issues.
Good times are here!
HGW

The real problem here is why

The real problem here is why this increase is needed. The NZTA keep predicting more traffic but the reality is that since roughly 2004, traffic volumes and the total distance travelled have fallen and flatlined. People just aren't using as much fuel as they used to and it will only get worse as we get more efficient cars. The thing here is that this trend isn't just happening in NZ but all around the developed world and happened long before the GFC hit. 
A lot of it is to do with generational changes that we are seeing as it turns out that baby boomers are what drove (excuse the pun) traffic increases but as they start to drop off, so is traffic numbers.
The changes in vehicle numbers are enough that now many of the projects needed "due to vehicle demand" should be deferred but the NZTA has pretended like this drop off never occured. Hell in the case of the business case for another harbour crossing they used a figure out of their model which was 13,000 vehicles per day higher than the actual number (which was available when the modelling was done)

Agree, I tend to think these

Agree, I tend to think these plans are actually "bridges to no where" What National is really doing is slight of hand. They are priming the economy by doing wasteful "public works" that saddle us with debt that there will not be a payback for in order to get teh economy going again.
Shame on them for such waste.
regards
 
 

Heh.  Some 'debate'.   A few

Heh.  Some 'debate'.
 
A few minutes savings here and there don't seem like much, but when you aggregate them, they can mean stuff like 4 cross-town trips per day instead of 3.
 
Now by my aged fingers, that is a 33% improvement in elapsed time terms.
 
Virginia Postrel has a good riff on 'progress', and it's largely made up of precisely these incremental, seemingly insignificant improvements. 
 
And when you consider that exports of manufactured/value-added products always entails transport between the points of value-add, and that transport rarely involves PT. cycles or walking, the point is reinforced.
 
And finally, just how do tradies get on?  From the Greens' POV, they're non-existent.....

The time savings are based on

The time savings are based on the entire route, not just the invididual projects within them. Further the creation of the route often ends up creating induced demand which negates the time saving benefits anyway. As an example, pretty much every motorway upgrade of the last decade or more has been based on easing congestion and getting people moving but the roads are just as congested as before, if not more so. Where are the time savings promised?
I don't deny the need for roads to move freight and people like tradies around. Where PT can help is to get those off the roads who are just there for comuting. That in turn will help free up space for those other activities that do need to road. Its about getting some balance in our transport system as at the moment the only option for pretty much everyone is to have to drive.

Commuting times per kilometre

Commuting times per kilometre travelled (public or private) increase as you increase density, and are the lowest in the suburbs.
Rail in particular becomes less uneconomic as density increases hence the focus of forcing people into higher central city living type.
The shortest commute time is the one we are having right now over the internet, which is a decentralisation of travel. That is what we should be focussing on.
 

That's not true at all. As

That's not true at all. As you increase density it does help with PT but it isn't essential. With dedicated PT corridors, particularily rail or busways, your commuting time won't increase with higher densities, infact they can actualy drop as more people usually means you can justify running higher frequencies. That means less time waiting around at the station/stop while the dedicated corridor means you aren't affected by congestion. You also won't need to take as many non commuting trips as higher densities mean more services can be located nearby which means you can walk to get say a loaf of bread rather than having to get in a car and drive to get one.
Higher densities also doen't have to mean central city type apartments and no one is going to be forced to live in them. There will still be plenty of typical houses in the Auckland region.
Lastly the internet is great but that doesn't make up for working with a group of people in one location, again have a watch of this video I posted in another comment
http://youtu.be/7I1oHK3udtE 

Yep the costs of everything

Yep the costs of everything go up internally and it's all passed on to the consumer and don't forget the tiny fraction extra that the Government will get in GST, but across the board this tiny amount increases GST revenues.
 
So the real effects are all our exporters suffer rising internal costs while trying to place their products competitively on the international market and local consumers pay more for fuel and all other Goods and Service.
 
 
 
 

The problem is it isnt all

The problem is it isnt all passed on.  So councils can increase rates an extra say 1% next year to allow for fuel increases, no problem for them.  Private businesses who have customers who cant or wont pay more cannot.  Then the double whammy, so those rate rises pass to private businesses who yes cant pass on the costs.
Next consider that rates are going up at 6%, yet inflation is 0.8%.  That means some sectors must be deflating to compensate....that has to be the private sector. Throw in that with 6% increases customers will be even poorer next year....a triple whammy on businesses....it just keeps getting worse for them.
So as this recession progresses the negative re-inforcing pressure just continues to build and something is going to give IMHO...
regards

“The Government is keen to

“The Government is keen to keep overall costs down for households and business. The cost of living, as measured by consumer inflation, is at a 13-year low and interest rates are at 50-year lows."
Can someone explain this to me please?  Does it mean that the cost of living is the lowest it's been in 13 years?  Has our cost of living decreased over the last 13 years?

This might

This might help:
http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/62426/matt-nolan-says-decline-middle-class-household-incomes-american-issue-not-new-zealand-
 
 
Per capita real gross national disposable income rose 26% during the same period, showing that the middle classes have experienced income growth roughly in line with growth in incomes over the economy as a whole.

I haven't owned a car for

I haven't owned a car for years. What is this 'petrol' you speak of?

Do you own a cat or a dog ,

Do you own a cat or a dog , Stan ?
 
.... petroll keeps them from chewing on your ankles ..... And if you slice it up , lightly fry , and serve on a bun , Pet Roll keeps the elderly parents-in-law nutritionally satisfied ..... and even gives their coats a glossy healthy sheen ....
 
Ah , Pet-Rol , the elixer of life ......

I thought that was dogroll

I thought that was dogroll

..... no , that's late after

..... no , that's late after Xmas dinner , when the cheap Corbans sweet sherry impacts upon the mother-in-law's sense of proprietry ......
 
And she puts the hard word upon you , when you're both uncomfortably cosy on the futon .......... if you submit and get stuck in......
 
....... that's the " dog roll " .....

SGV - that bike you ride -

SGV - that bike you ride - where were it's parts manufactured? Those roads you ride on - Are you contributing any taxes towards them? If not why not?  The food you eat....yep it needs fuel too......but I wont go on..........
Now lets see.....Taxing the bikes who use the roads sounds pretty good to me........I must write to the PM on this issue. Hmmmmm perhaps a tyre tax for bikes could be on the next agenda.
 
 

Nano I tend to walk around

Nano I tend to walk around Sydney mostly, living and working in the CBD. Occasionally when I need to use a car I use GoGet, a car sharing arrangement that I pay for by the hour and for which petrol is paid for by GoGet. I do have to fill a car up about once a year (Goget asks that members refill the car if it gets below 1/4 full - using the attached petrol card). but I never know how much the petrol is.

Yes I hear you that I'm paying for it indirectly in other ways.

However, you would be much better off to write to the PM on the issue of EVs, because when I come back to NZ it will be to live on my lifestyle block with enough wind and solar power to give me free motoring in my fully electric vehicle (and electric bike, quad bike, and maybe even electric boat by then) so I'll be paying no petrol tax, no road tax, and no tax on any of the electricity generation either.

HI SGV- sounds like great car

HI SGV- sounds like great car timeshare, but then in returning to NZ you are going lifestyle and more self-sufficiency (sounds like sprawl).
But your ideologically opposed to many of those that are pushing PT because you are still using roads and a car (and yes you will still have to pay a tax regardless of your fuel source – where do you think the PT subsidises will come from, and money for the roading costs) and PT only works (becomes less uneconomic) with higher density, and you want to go low density. 
Also electric cars etc. are not very practical because of the amount of electrical cord you need.  
 

Goget is awesome - amazed

Goget is awesome - amazed no-one has started something similar in NZ yet, or have they? Loads of cars now in 'pods' all over the city - closest one to us is a 2 minute walk to the nearest carpark building where there are now 5 cars. You just book online or via your phone for anywhere from an hour to a week, walk up, slap an access card on the window and the car unlocks with the keys inside etc. Costs about $8/hour petrol included.

Not owning a car is one of lifes major stresses taken away - no rego, warrant, insurance, cleaning, worry about petrol prices, dings, resale etc etc. Amazing how liberating it is. Moreso than I would have thought (although weirdly I still look at nice shiny new vehicles and want one - which just goes to show how much of a status/toy fixation that have become in our society).

My understanding of road tax etc is that it's paid for from fuel excise and registration charges. One of the economic benefits of being an early uptaker of EVs is that it will take the govt a while to figure out how to tax you for road usage now that you aren't buying petrol. Hopefully they might even lower the rego for EVs for a while because it's 'green' to do so.

Here's what a private company can build from scratch in a few short years...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S

Check out that range and performance. The mainstream car manufacturers have had the same technology since 1997. Ever wondered why they aren't making such cars????

checkout the

checkout the price....$105KUSD  transalte that into NZD plus a "decent" importers margin = $150KNZD, maybe more.  Lets stick to a MiEv at $65k....its petrol brother is $20k and lasts twice as long.
I would have to check on EVs but there was talk they'd be taxed like deisels ie you buy supplimentary miles in advance....about $300NZ for 5k I think.
regards
 
 

The price is a function of it

The price is a function of it being hand-made and a new technology - I'm pretty sure Henrys first few thousand Fords weren't affordable for the masses either!

I used Tesla as an example to show the technology is here. Besides, try and find a better example of a real EV from any other car manufacturer - they keep making these quirky little things that no-one would want to buy even if it was petrol-powered, just so they can go "see? no-one wants EVs!" I hope Tesla carries on growing and leads to the demise of some the dinosaur car companies like Ford, GM, Toyota etc.

The joys of living in the manufacturing age is that the more something is scaled up the less each individual item costs. In fact one of the reasons (answering my own question above) the big car manufacturers keep delaying the age of EVs is that on a mass-production scale they end up much cheaper to make than petrol vehicles, and require very little servicing - no gearbox, no oil changes, no tuning, etc etc. Nightmare for the billion dollar auto servicing industry. Nightmare for Big Oil.

Yes I suspect that EVs would have to subject to some kind of odometer charging like they do for diesel.

I think the term 'cynical'

I think the term 'cynical' comes to mind....an easy way to create the promised 'surplus'...might come back to boot them up the jacksee in the election...
Thing is, the tax theft will continue to shrink as more peasants enter the debt twilight zone...
Hope you lot are not expecting the gravy tap to be turned off in wgtn...fat chance...MP perk and bloated salary rise on the way...consultants paradise they call it....double and triple dipping the name of the game.

  A Comment at Naked

 
A Comment at Naked Capitalism
 
"Greece and the rest are bankrupt b/c of their automobiles and ‘American Style’ suburbanized way of life obtained from Big Business, financed by Wall Street.
The Greeks have borrowed tens of billions of euros to buy cars and fuel for the cars. Neither the cars nor fuel pay for themselves. The only collateral for new loans is used cars and smog. Nobody will lend any more to the Greeks because the costs have become excessive
"To drive a car". That has been the choice presented to citizens in modern countries since peak oil … which occurred in 1998 (!) You can either drive a car … or have a job. You can drive a car or have a competent government. You can drive a car or have a pension or get a good education. The choices become more existential as the wrong choice is made over and over: drive a car or have medical care. Drive a car or live in a house.
The choice is always made to drive the car, drive the car, everything else is thrown to the wolves and the country disintegrates. Greece is destroyed by peak oil: unaffordable cars, unaffordable fuel … and the unaffordable credit needed to gain these things.
The choice to come: Drive a car or have something to eat. At the end of this road there are no cars and no food, either. No country, nothing, a void filled with ruin and despair. Life is simple: you get to repeat your mistakes until you learn not to do so.
Get real Greeks, get rid of the cars. All of them. Now."
I think this applies to NZ as well. I despise everyday cars. Cars could/should be a treat/pleasure that we use for Sunday drives, Summer holidays or trips to to the supermarket to pick up the shopping.- not to go to work or go to town. McDonald/KFC is fine once a fortnight or so. Eating fast foods everyday will destroy even the sveltest person- Using cars everyday will destroy even the most beautiful (NZ) societies.
 

I think the tax evasion also

I think the tax evasion also contributed slightly...

I don't have an issue if the

I don't have an issue if the extra petrol tax is to build roads that are really necessary.  My concern is the money is being built on some roads that are nice to haves rather than must haves. The cash would be better investing more in public transport which our central cities need to function more easily.  The petrol hike should be done gradually with 2-3 cents added each years rather than a massive hike in 3 years time so it will not be noticed so much. One other question is that we are likely to experience sky rocketing petrol prices if Israel bombs Iran. Will the tax hike still be applied if petrol goes from $2.00 - $3.00 per litre in a short period of time when this event occurs, or if Saudi Arabia has civil unrest and disorder further down the track?  External factors outside of NZ will dictate the petrol prices, so while the petrol prices are relatively stable we should try to make some tax now even a cent or 2 cents , as if any unlkely event causing petrol prices to spike would actually make it even harder to get tax if the prices go up regardless.    Nows the time to get a cent or 2 cents extra in the bank.

Thread is Interesting, and

Thread is Interesting, and mainly for its omissions.
 
NoPonies asks, why not Rail everywhere?  Well, it never Did go everywhere:  Nelson (completely disconnected...), Karamea (home to many dairy coos), Queenstown (tourist trap) and it's a Very Long List.
 
Then figure construction costs at well north of $50M/km and do some math and why, there's yer answer!
 
And even for the lines that Are left, the issue is transhipment.  Not everything is containerised, and for commodities with special transport needs such as coal or milk, specialist rolling stock is needed.  And That's expensive....
 
Much as I pine for the Days of Yore when home-constructed coal-burning Gaia-Pesterers Pounded the Rails, rails ain't comin back anytime soon.  Plus, if I'm not Mistaken, don't Rails, lokeys and rolling stock require lotsan lotsa Steel?  Which needs us to bother Gaia quite a lot too?
 
And in all this 'cars will be dead in 10 years) no-one seems to have thunk aboot two things:
 
1 - tradespeople.  Even the Tradies in Milan use 600cc tricycle trucks which fit in those narrow alleys....not bicycles. 
2 - Elec-a-tricity.   Them Prius thingoes seem to need - gasp! - Roads, and there's gonna be a shedload 'a them aboot (Priuses - is that the Right Plural? - and roads, just ter clarify) when Gaia coughs up her last drop of oil, powered by the Twin Powers of Smashing Atoms and Falling Waters.  And PT (the non-rail type) also seems ter need - wait fer it - Roads!
 
Oh, this stuff just makes my poor ol' head spin....

Waymad - the 'problem' with

Waymad - the 'problem' with rail is that to be profitable it really needs to be subsidised, and that gets a bad mark on your countries international school report. However, roads can be included as part of your countries net worth, so on paper at least roads look better.

Of course once you factor in the diesel pollution, higher fuel inefficiency, road deaths, road repairs etc etc etc rail makes much more sense...

Unfortunately rail takes a long time to build and even without Fay and Richwhite fraudulently ripping it off to the tune of $600 million, there is no political payoff for the forward-thinking polly that pushes a rail plan through parliament. By the time the benefits are seen said polly is usually off on their taxpayer funded sinecure or cushy private number.

Also NZers still seem to have this mistaken idea that New Zealand is the pioneering go-getting #8 wire-mentality type country that it was 50 years ago. Those days are long gone - now when it comes to anything political - drugs, industry, the environment etc - you can't tell the people from the sheep. Your politicians do what America or England or China say they should do. The last time anyone actually had an independent political thought in NZ was Lange's anti-Nuke stance, and how outdated is that now???

Oh and #2. Fully electric

Oh and #2. Fully electric vehicles need very little oil apart from lubrication of the (few) moving parts - something that could possibly be done without oil.

Yes, EVs need roads, but roads can be made of concrete (as they are in the USA). If you shifted most of the freight to rail then the damage to the roads caused by trucks would (I suspect) mean that we wouldn't need to be fixing them every Summer like we do with our oil-dependent asphalt roads.

Wullah - high speed electric trains running on steel lines on concrete sleepers, and concrete roads full of EVs. A brave new oil-free world. One that NZ will be an extremely late adopter of for the reasons I outlined above.

Yes you save on engine and

Yes you save on engine and gearbox lube. Most other parts these days are lub'd for life so 10+ years, even 20 on one "lube job" is normal, no biggee.  You miss the problems with battery life and first cost of EVs. 
Battery life is 10 to 12 years and cost about 50% of the new car cost.  So a 60k car is worth say $6k in 10 years? hardly viable to put a 30k battery in it....so its scrap.  A petrol car is 20k v 65k and will last about 20 years v 10 years.
Then there are the problems of material sources for say lithium, production rates and costs.. Lithium battery tech is clean room tech, unlike lead acid which is not much above DIY....
So, no we wont be adopting EVs and neither will most of world....not en mass, the top 10% yes sure....the rest of us, no.
Hot mix v concrete, concrete takes a lot of energy to make, hot mix is the cheapest per KM so Im not convinced a change is practical/economic. got any data?
 
regards

I think the cost/benefits you

I think the cost/benefits you outline are no different from the early days of petrol cars - you forget that we've had the petrol car and petrol infrastructure for over 100 years - I'm pretty sure the early Fords didn't have such a long life or cost bugger-all to service, or become every day items with the fuel stations everywhere until long after they were invented.

And honestly, how many people are capable of doing tune-ups or repairs to a modern fuel-injected computer-controlled car??? Hardly DIY. Your clean-room logic is tantamount to saying we should reject clean-room technology required to make iPhones and go back to bakerlite handsets. Nearly everything we touch is clean-room tech these days, and good! Solid batteries made to last and then recycled beats old lead acid batteries with their easily drainable battery acid (into the environment) any day.

Battery technology is capable now of fueling long-range high-performance cars (see my Tesla link above), just because the auto industry isn't leaping on board doesn't mean it's not viable, it just means they don't want to because the economics are bad for them.

I don't have the cost-benefit analysis of concrete roads over hot mix, or whether hot mix is cheaper just to put down or over the long term age of the road. I know the Americans do concrete even though they have cheap oil, so who can say?

Nice to be able to say for

Nice to be able to say for once I can agree with you, though 10% running around in EV's is, I think, on the high side. The resources needed to electrify personal transport worldwide are not there. NZ is unlikely to ever be able to afford this EV fantasy.

OMG Good to see you are

OMG Good to see you are finally coming around to my way of thinking (aka the right way).

:-)
Merry Xmas. I'm off!

HA HA,  All the best for Xmas

HA HA, 
All the best for Xmas to you and yours from HK
;-)

This Increase on Petrol is

This Increase on Petrol is CHICKEN-FEED, and is being introduced in three steps.  I live in Christchurch and GENESIS ENERGY has just hit us with an  18.04% Increase in the Day Rate Electricity and 14.57% increase in the Night rate Electrcity. These increases are before GST is applied so the actual Government Take will be more than that.
Also Orion -- the Lines/Reticulation provider has also signalled an Increase-- to all Electricity Retailers ( Genesis--Meridian, etc)  for the earthquake upgrade, and that extra charge is still to come.
This Government is out of control. 
The last time people complained about Electricity Price rises to Gerry Brownlee, he advised to swap Power Companies.  So many have done that, and it still has not stopped the Power Companies  excessive price increases.
Heaven help us if National get to partially privatise the SOE --Power companies---it will be worse.
No Justification for the Increase has been given by Genesis. Another kick in the guts after the earthquakes.

Headline's wrong - here's the

Headline's wrong - here's the right one:
 
Excise hike generates 11th-hour surplus
 
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8096709/Excise-hike-generates-11th-hour-surplus
 
 
 

Actually, Kate, it should

Actually, Kate, it should read:
Attempt to make extra money from that which underwrites all money, even as the underwrite declines, the demand grows, and the fiscal overshoot starts to render the lender into surrender.
 
This is an attempt to wring blood out of a stone, as is the Joyce approach to resources.
 
When will Labour have the scrotal fortitude to be honest about where we're at?
 
When we get rid of the Parkers, Currans, Cunliffes, et al.
 
The ones who don't have the nous to understand basic physics. That includes Turei, on present performance, Norman's a question mark, and all National are irrelevant.
 
Waymad put this up on the Top10 thread - I thought the quote was absolutely about our current crop of irrelevant-thinking pollies:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-18/guest-post-why-things-are-falling-apart-and-what-we-can-do-about-it

 

 
“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries… and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience  of it.” (Machiavelli, 1532)